Julian Assange looks set to remain inside Ecuador’s embassy in London – at least for now.
But all the signs are pointing to a looming exit from the small, cramped room that has been his home since 2012, with Ecuador’s president stating that he does not condone the Wikileaks founder’s activities and wants him gone as soon as possible.
President Lenin Moreno also confirmed a July 15 report in London’s Sunday Times that Ecuador and Britain are in talks to try to end Assange’s stay at the embassy.
Moreno said any eviction of Assange from the embassy had to be carried out correctly and through dialogue, but he displayed no sympathy for Assange’s political agenda as a leaker of confidential documents.
“I have never been in favour of Mr Assange’s activity,” Moreno said at an event in Madrid on Friday.
Australian-born Assange sought refuge in the embassy after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about allegations of sex crimes, which he has always denied.
While those allegations have since been dropped, Assange would be arrested by British police for not appearing in court.
The government issued a statement saying “that the president of the republic, Lenin Moreno, has at no time ordered the departure of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”
Moreno, who came to power last year, confirmed negotiations with Britain took place earlier this month, and described Assange as an “inherited problem.”
“We are going to protect him as far as his life is concerned, but it’s not within international norms, nor our wishes, nor Mr Assange’s wishes, that he remain a refugee all his life,” Moreno said.
Sweden has since dropped their case against him, but Assange says he fears extradition to the United States for questioning over WikiLeaks activities if he leaves the building.